More Nigerian banks are creating mobile applications (apps) or internet banking where customers can convert their dollars and other foreign currencies to naira, a development that unsettles black market trading.
“This makes a lot of sense, especially for remote workers that are struggling to exchange their foreign earnings. With this, there is no need to withdraw at the counter and run after Akobi before exchanging FX,” Oluwaseun Tijani, a tech lover, tweeted.
Ecobank has a mobile app for this service but it is subject to a daily limit of $25,000. “Convert your dollar and other foreign currency to naira via Ecobank Mobile App. Simply log in to your Ecobank Mobile App and click transfer (Ecobank Domestic) to convert your euro, pounds or dollars to naira,” the bank said, adding that it offers instant value and competitive rates.
Zenith Bank has since 2020 created an FX conversion platform, titled ‘FX conversions just got eazy’, which it posted on its Facebook page.
The existing feature on its internet banking platform allows users to convert dollars to naira seamlessly. The bank’s flier note said customers can now log in to their Zenith Bank internet banking accounts, navigate to the forex section, and select the ‘Convert FX to Naira’ option to initiate the currency conversion process.
With Zenith Bank’s internet banking, customers can convert a maximum of $10,000 daily, subject to regulatory requirements.
“Convert US dollars to naira conveniently on our internet banking platform, at Zenith Bank, eazybanking platform,” the bank said.
It added: “You cannot transfer funds from a dollar to a naira account and vice versa because both accounts are in different currencies.
“You can however convert funds in your dollar account to naira and have this paid into your naira account at the official exchange rate by visiting any Zenith Bank branch nationwide.”
A Twitter user, Mekky@emimekks, said, “Standard Chartered Bank has always had this USD to naira conversion feature – but you can only convert at the official rate. No one was willing to do that as of then when you could get double the rate at the parallel market.”
Standard Chartered Bank offers 7*24 conversion between foreign currencies to meet FX needs.
The bank, on its website, indicated different steps towards foreign currency conversion: step one, click ‘FX service’, FCY conversion’, enter the conversion details, read and accept the ‘risk alerts for individual foreign exchange transactions’.
Access Bank and Fidelity Bank are working on creating their own foreign currency conversion platforms and would soon introduce them into the market.
However, Access Bank offers a product known as Glocurrency, which allows individuals living in the United Kingdom, Europe and Canada to send funds to family, friends and associates living in Nigeria.
“Funds can be received directly into your Access Bank USD account or as cash pick-up across any of our over 500 branches nation-wide,” the bank said.
Stanbic IBTC offers Diaspora banking, which is a specialised offering for Nigerians living abroad. This allows them to send money back home to relatives, manage finances in Nigeria, save to buy a home, invest in local denominated wealth instruments, and execute projects amongst other things.
BusinessDay had reported that the new foreign exchange product by Guaranty Trust Holding Company, the parent company of GTBank, which allows a customer to change dollars to naira instantly on internet banking, was rattling black market operators.
The bank said customers could convert up to $50,000 to naira daily.